Indonesia’s mountains of fire
Kelimutu, Nusa Tenggara
Wonder at the ethereal scenery atop this volcano, with its three differently coloured crater lakes and lunar landscape. There are not many better ways to wake up than to sip ginger coffee as the sun crests Kelimutu's western rim, filtering mist into the sky and revealing three deep, volcanic lakes - each one a different striking shade. That is why the tri-coloured lakes of Kelimutu National Park have long been considered a Nusa Tenggara must. During our research one was turquoise, the other dark brown with flecks of rust and the third was black glass. Colours are so dense that the lakes seem the thickness of paint.
Gunung Rinjani, Lombok
Join pilgrims at the summit of this sacred peak, which has a huge crater lake overlooked by the active cone of Gunung Baru. To the Balinese, who come once a year, Rinjani is one of three sacred mountains, along with Bali's Agung and Java's Bromo. Inside the immense caldera, 600m below the rim, is a stunning, 6km-wide cobalt-blue lake, Danau Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). The Balinese toss their jewellery into the lake in a ceremony called pekelan, before they continue toward the sacred summit.
Gunung Api, Maluku
Scramble up this volcano in the Banda Islands to experience the awesome sunrise views. This devilish little 666m volcano has always been a threat to Bandaneira, Lonthoir and anyone attempting to farm its fertile slopes. Its most recent eruption in 1988 killed three people, destroyed more than 300 houses and filled the sky with ash for days. Historically, Gunung Api's eruptions have often proved to be spookily accurate omens of approaching intruders.
Gunung Semeru, Java
Part of the huge Tengger Massif, the classic cone of Gunung Semeru is the highest peak in Java, at 3,676m. Also known as Mahameru (Great Mountain), it is looked on by Hindus as the most sacred mountain of all and the father of Gunung Agung on Bali. Semeru is one of Java's most active peaks and has been in a near-constant state of eruption since 1818. In 1981, 250 people were killed during one of its worst eruptions, and it exploded as recently as March 2009.